Forced to take a full-time job at an early age to help support her family, Heather McNeil worked for the Am-Can Petroleum Company in Edmonton, Alberta. There she met James MacDonald Hudson, a scientist who had invented an armored suit intended for geological exploration. McNeil was attracted to Hudson, who was her elder by many years, and the pair fell in love. They were soon married, and whilst on their honeymoon in Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park they encountered the feral mutant Logan who was in a savage state. With Heather’s, help and care Logan was able to reclaim his humanity, and thus was forged an unbreakable friendship.
James formed the super-team Alpha Flight for the Canadian Government’s Department H, and following his death Heather accepted the responsibility of leading Alpha Flight. She was briefly mutated by Loki’s Fire Fountain, serving in the Berserkers as Guardian until turning against the trickster god. She eventually donned a variant of James’s battle-suit as Vindicator; as Alpha Flight’s leader, Heather suffered through a resurrection, a death, and then a second resurrection of her husband. For a time after James’s second return, he and Heather lived and worked happily together on several research projects. After a while, however, the two were forced to confront the fact that they had both changed, and agreed to separate. Heather then took a job working in a flower shop, but was soon after coerced to join a revamped Alpha Flight, led by a surprisingly young James. After an encounter with the original members of Alpha Flight, including the real James, it was discovered that the younger Hudson was a clone created by Department H. The original members rejoined the team, and Heather retired from active duty, taking up a position as Alpha Flight’s official government liaison.
Soon after, Heather revealed that she was pregnant with James’ child, and following a brief return to active duty with Alpha Flight she retired to prepare for the birth. Heather was then targeted by one of James’s former co-workers who was jealous of their relationship and sought to take Heather for himself. James was almost killed in the ensuing clash, but both parents were able to welcome their baby girl into the world.
Later, Heather was among the Alpha Flight members captured by the alien Plodex. After being rescued by a new team led by Sasquatch, Heather and James left Earth to transport the Plodex eggs back to their homeworld.